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Comment: Great news for those of us with experience.. (Score 1) 226

by xtal (#48405849) Attached to: Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

I've gotten one hell of a return from my BSc. EE. Thankfully it's not being devalued, and as far as ROI goes, wow. Was it easy for me? F--k no. Things that are worthwhile rarely are easy.

Anyone who thinks these bootcamps are a substitute for theory training is a fool. They can make a great way to leverage that core knowledge, though. They're also great for churning out code monkeys. I don't want to be a monkey.

You know what's a substitute, though? -Free- books and training online on those academic topics. Marry that with a good, accredited lab work program and you're going to be onto something; I suspect, however, this will be targeted at a lower common denominator.

Democratizing forces will come to higher education as there's HUGE market inefficiencies there created by an artificial barrier. It's just a matter of time, or like I've said before, one of the Ivy league institutions to offer real credit in an online environment. Right now it's a big game of chicken to see who blinks first.

Comment: Genetic algorithms already there.. (Score 1) 77

by xtal (#48405779) Attached to: Magic Tricks Created Using Artificial Intelligence For the First Time

There's some magic tricks outside of the basic programming for you. Paper is linked in there or easily searchable, and is quite interesting.

And yes, there might be reason to start to get concerned. Disruptive changes happen quickly. Eventually, we will be the ones disrupted..

Comment: Re:Paper? (Score 2) 148

by xtal (#48382589) Attached to: Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission

Do you know how this works?

The box goes out in the open. Everyone can watch things go in.

The count is done with several people. Observers can watch. That's how it's done in Canada. Really.

The whole process, if fraud is a concern, can be watched end-to-end. There is no opportunity for "extra slips".

Paper works and is AFAIK the hardest to game and has the most oversight. I question those who are so quick to get rid of it.

Comment: Paper? (Score 4, Insightful) 148

by xtal (#48381453) Attached to: Internet Voting Hack Alters PDF Ballots In Transmission


Whats wrong with paper?

Lots of systems for automatically dealing with it. Unique and irrefutable record. Easy to recount. Don't like one machine? Design a better one to scan and count. People really pissed off? Count those SOBs one at a time in front of a crowd on a big-screen TV.

Ballot boxes are easily placed out in the open; they're easily observed and tracked by as many people as would like to. The entire way through the process.

Lots of very large, modern democracies just use paper. Including your neighbours up north. X marks the spot.


Comment: Last Microsoft OS of relevance.. (Score 2) 242

by xtal (#48252699) Attached to: OEM Windows 7 License Sales End This Friday

Windows 7 will be a around for a very long time.. but I suspect it will be the last OS they have a monopoly on.

Anyone remember the background on boot for Windows 95, and all the controversy over "hidden shapes"?

Oh, the irony it was the cloud that killed Windows by rendering, largely, OS agnostic computing.

Comment: Re:All the movies had women in business (Score 5, Insightful) 786

by xtal (#48198309) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

Computing IS anti social!

You get good at programming by staring at a screen and figuring things out. For thousands, and thousands, and thousands of hours. There is no getting around that fact.

The more complicated it gets, the more "anti social" it is. What does that mean anyway? Do we all need to sit around and code by committee?

Comment: Primitive calculators hold back math understanding (Score 1) 359

by xtal (#47827367) Attached to: How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

Number crunching is stupid.

Math students should be using computers to visualize and manipulate math, and help them understand what it is they're solving for.

This is best done with modern, kick ass graphics, and on any modern tablet, can be done in real-time.

It's an embarrassment to the entire teaching profession that calculators are needed on any exam, but more over, it is doing a serious disservice to students to not use them for what they should be used for - math visualizing machines. The TI calculators are used by and large to hand-hold lazy teachers and provide them with busywork for students.


Also, HP48GX forever.. but I didn't need it until engineering school. I completed all of the math courses for my EE without a calculator - they weren't allowed by the math department, and rightly so.

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.